Speed Limit Syndrome

Picture this.I enter the premises of a big company.
There are road works ahead – barricades, detour markers, a speed limit sign … the works.

Nothing wrong with that.
EXCEPT, the sign reads 20 kph.
Now this is where the problem lies.

I pull aside and observe what happens.

The road is straight and clear and one vehicle after the other drives past me at 40 and even 60 kph, totally ignoring the speed limit of 20.

Why, you may ask, did these drivers not adhere to the 20 kph speed limit?

Because it is human nature to ignore rules and regulations (in this case speed limits and other traffic signs) that are judged to be unreasonable.

This is what I call the Speed Limit Syndrome and it happens alot on public roads too, as we all know.

One of the worst practices on our roads is that signs are not being immediately removed when the road works or the need for the sign no longer exists! This encourages a culture of not taking traffic signs, or, for that matter, rules and regulations, seriously, because they are deemed to be unreasonable and/or obsolete.

I urge you to watch out for this trap in your own operations.

Make sure that your rules and regulations are necessary, realistic and truly serve the purpose of safeguarding people. When people ignore your rules and regulations, first ask if they are not being perceived as unreasonable and, if so, why.

The flip side of this coin is equally important. Once you are 100% sure that your rules and regulations are necessary and realistic, then you have to enforce them – ruthlessly. You have to discipline those who ignore and break the rules and regulations!

Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,


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